WINTER 2015 C P P S T O D A Y MISSIONARIES OF THE PRECIOUS BLOOD Ordinary People Doing Extraordinary Things In this issue of C.PP.S. Today Page 2: Who are the Missionaries? At the very heart of everything we do is the Precious Blood of Jesus. Between the Lines by Fr. Larry Hemmelgarn, C.PP.S., provincial director of the Cincinnati Province. Each Missionary receives a mission cross when he joins the Community. Page 3: Ordinary People Doing Extraordinary Things Like other religious congregations, the Missionaries of the Precious Blood have a unique way of going about their ministry. For one thing, that means smelling like their sheep. Page 10: A Missionary Heart Most people must discern a vocation to the consecrated life first, then discern where and how to carry that out. Call and Answer by Fr. Vince Wirtner, C.PP.S., director of vocation ministry. Page 11: Teaching Whoever Shows Up Brother Tim Cahill, C.PP.S., says he became a better teacher when he realized an important truth about middle schoolers: they’re just like we were at that age. Page 15: Chapter and Verse News about C.PP.S. people and places. Page 17: Not a Missionary Heart All evidence points to the contrary of this writer being able to move around much. At Our House by Jean Giesige, editor of C.PP.S. Today. Br. Tim Cahill, C.PP.S., found his niche as middle school teacher. WINTER 2015 C.PP.S. Today is published by the Missionaries of the Precious Blood, Cincinnati Province, 431 E. Second St., Dayton, OH 45402 937-228-9263 [email protected] www.cpps-preciousblood.org On Facebook, Missionaries of the Precious Blood Cincinnati Province On Twitter, @cppscincinnati 1 W Who are the Missionaries? ith this issue we are trying to answer a very fundamental question: who are the Missionaries of the Precious Blood? This is a very significant year for us. It is the bicentennial of the founding of our Community, and it is also the Year of Consecrated Life, as proclaimed by Pope Francis. Those two events give us a great opportunity to introduce ourselves to people who do not know us—and to people who do! The people to whom we minister may be familiar with us, but they may not know much about our spirituality or our sense of mission. We hope that our cover story will give you a good overview of our Community. It wasn’t easy to write. I am sure that your family, like mine, has its own traditions, and its own way of looking at the world. But if I asked you to describe your family, could you do it? However, people who support or seek to join our Community deserve to know who we are and what we stand for. So we continue to try to educate people about our history, our spirituality and our sense of mission. At the very heart of everything we do is the Precious Blood of Jesus, which is a vital, compelling and eternal symbol of God’s great love for all. That was central to our founder, St. Gaspar del Bufalo, and it remains our foundation to this day. Everything that we do flows from that. Because we are inspired by Jesus’ sacrifice, we believe in the power of Jesus’ Blood to reconcile the world. We work for peace among families, neighbors and nations. We have a deep reverence for God’s word. These are some of our core beliefs, and we try to live them. Also in this issue, you’ll find the story of Brother Tim Cahill, C.PP.S., who ministers as a teacher in a Catholic school Between in Dayton. In the way he shares his own vocation the Lines story, and in the way he reaches out to students, you by Fr. Larry can see an example of Precious Blood spirituality at Hemmelgarn, work in the world. C.PP.S. Through our words and our actions, we tell our story. We hope that it is something that you want to hear, and also that it is pleasing to God, who has guided us for the past 200 years. In our God and in our relationships with others, we find the answers to the questions, who are the Missionaries of the Precious Blood, and why are the Missionaries of the Precious Blood. Those answers will propel us into our next 200 years. 2 MISSIONARIES OF THE PRECIOUS BLOOD Ordinary People Doing Extraordinary Things It’s the Year of Consecrated Life as well as the Missionaries’ bicentennial. What do they bring to the Church and the world? W priest or brother, but also as a member of a particular religious community. He is saying, “God has called me to a life of service in the Church, and this is the way that I have found to carry out that call. This is where I belong.” hen a priest or brother candidate joins—the technical term is to become definitively incorporated— the Missionaries of the Precious Blood, he makes a promise to spend his life not only as a 3 what sets them apart. They just feel it in their heart. “When I was a kid, I didn’t know there were any choices,” said Fr. Bill Nordenbrock, C.PP.S., who grew up in a parish where Missionaries of the Precious Blood had always ministered. When he decided to explore the possibilities of religious life, he went to Brunnerdale, the Missionaries’ high school seminary outside of Canton, Ohio. It wasn’t until he was sent to the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago for theological studies that he came to know people from many other religious communities. “It was there that I realized how different the communities really are,” he said. “Each community has its own ways, its own particular flavor. And the people who are part of that community take on that flavor. Each community has a particular way of being and a particular way of working. It’s the same with family life. You get to know people a lot better when you get to know their family.” Indeed, Fr. Nordenbrock did take on the flavor of the Missionaries of the Precious Blood—to the point where he is now their moderator general, the leader of the Missionaries worldwide. Missionaries serve in 20 countries around the world, and Fr. Nordenbrock has visited And the Missionaries say in reply, “Welcome to the family.” That multi-leveled commitment—to God, to the Church, to a religious community—is what is being celebrated in this Year of Consecrated Life, as proclaimed by Pope Francis. It is taking place at the same time that the Missionaries celebrate the 200th anniversary of their founding. What is consecrated life? A consecrated life has been pledged to God through a religious community, such as the Jesuits, the Franciscans, or the Missionaries of the Precious Blood. Many parishes are served by diocesan clergy, priests who are educated by and spend their lives in a particular diocese, under the care of a bishop. Members of religious communities—priests, religious brothers and sisters—minister under the authority of the local bishop, but they also belong to a particular community. That community has its own unique spirituality, culture and mission. Each Has Its own Flavor Even people who have been Catholic their whole life often don’t understand the distinction. They may be familiar with priests, brothers or sisters from a particular religious community and still not be able to articulate 4 or will visit all of them during his six-year term. welcomed them to sit at table with him. The Missionaries, then, open their doors to friends and to strangers. They share what they have. The Flavor of the Missionaries So what is the flavor that the Missionaries take on? First and always, the Congregation is devoted to the Precious Blood of Jesus, and that awareness affects everything they do. There was such expansiveness in Jesus’ sacrifice, such boundless love, that in following him the Missionaries draw a very wide circle. Precious Blood spirituality calls for inclusion, for seeking out people who feel unloved, rejected and alone, in the same way that Christ seeks them out. Because the Blood of Christ reconciled all of humankind to God, the Missionaries appreciate and promote reconciliation as another important aspect of their ministry. The sacrament of Reconciliation is an important part of their ministry, but reconciliation is also a basic stance. Missionaries work to bring people back together, to draw them near through the Blood of Christ. They promote peace and understanding in a neighborhood or between feuding family members. Another aspect of Precious Blood spirituality is hospitality, again taking Jesus as a model. He offered his body and blood to his disciples at the last supper and Very Ordinary People Those are characteristics that the Missionaries strive toward, to remain true to their calling as people of the Precious Blood. There are other distinctions as well, said Fr. Nordenbrock. “Missionaries of the Precious Blood tend to be very ordinary people,” he said. “And I mean that in the best possible way. They are engaged with and encouraging people at a very ordinary level. We really have an incarnational spirit, which means we are with the people. We live with the people we serve and take on their flavor as well.” People have often identified that trait among the Missionaries: they roll up their sleeves and join in when there is work to be done. “If there are tables that need to be set up at a parish function, the priest joins in helping to set up tables,” said Fr. Nordenbrock. “We’re just folks. There’s a humanness to us. Our becoming priests or brothers does not remove us from the world. We have a very ordinary way of being present to the people.” In doing so, they are following Pope Francis, who 5 in his letter proclaiming the Year of Consecrated Life asks all members of religious communities to walk among the people of God. “Around the world, I see deep interpersonal friendships between our members and the people we serve,” Fr. Nordenbrock said. “When our members go out into ministry in other countries, they do so with deep respect for other cultures and who they are. When we are at our best, we do that. “And that’s what Francis is urging us to do. He says that people who are living a consecrated life should be in relationship with the people, in communion with people. As Francis says, we smell like our sheep.” “We’re just folks. There’s a humanness to us. Our becoming priests or brothers does not remove us from the world. We have a very ordinary way of being present to the people.” Fr. Bill Nordenbrock, C.PP.S. Society of Apostolic Life of Missionaries, said Fr. Larry Hemmelgarn, C.PP.S., the provincial director of the Missionaries’ Cincinnati Province. “In a Society of Apostolic Life, our passion is our ministry,” he said. “In some religious communities, their passion is about serving God while living their life in community. For instance, a Benedictine may be committed Among religious communities, there are additional distinctions. The Missionaries of the Precious Blood, for instance, are a Society of Apostolic Life. While every religious community balances mission, community and prayer in different ways, a Society of Apostolic Life exists primarily for its mission. That is fitting for a group 6 Missionaries and the Mission Cross Missionaries are given a mission cross, as shown on the cover of this issue, when they are definitively incorporated into the Community. This tradition was established by St. Gaspar del Bufalo, who founded the Community in 1815. The mission cross represents their commitment to Christ and to their Community. The mission cross has two small figures under the feet of Christ: the Sorrowful Mother, standing at the foot of the cross, and a skull and crossbones, reminding all people that their life on earth will come to an end and that Jesus conquered death. Fr. Steve Dos Santos, C.PP.S., center, said that the chain of the mission cross also has special significance. “The chain represents the bond of charity (vinculum caritatis, or chain of love) that binds us together as a Community,” he said. “I regularly wear the mission cross and chain. When I’m wearing it, I’m reminded that I’m not in this alone. I carry all my fellow Missionaries with me.” Above is Brother Hugh Henderson, C.PP.S., who frequently wore his mission cross. Brother Hugh died on January 6, 2015. Below is Fr. Leonard Kostka, C.PP.S., who at 100 is the oldest living member of the Missionaries of the Precious Blood. He received his mission cross nearly 75 years ago. 7 Ordinary People Brothers Caring for Brothers In addition to theological and philosophical differences, each religious community has its own internal leadership and governance structure. The Missionaries around the world are divided into units, the largest of which is a province. There are two provinces in the United States: the Cincinnati Province (roughly, east of the Mississippi), which includes a vicariate in Chile, missions in Peru and Guatemala, and an ad experimentum mission in Colombia; and the Kansas City Province (west of the Mississippi), which has a mission in Vietnam. Fr. Nordenbrock stays in close contact with all of the units but the dynamic is one of brotherly love and concern rather than as a stern ruler. “I’m not the superior general, I am the moderator general. My title reminds me to do my work in communion with the people I serve. One brother serves the other brother,” he said. “I am aware that someday I will not serve in this role anymore, but I will still be with my brothers. How I exercise the office is informed by that. Our way of relating to each other is more horizontal than vertical.” As brothers, the Missionaries care for each other throughout (Continued from page six) to one abbey for his entire life. Not us—we travel around. We are constantly changing, and how and where we do ministry is constantly changing.” Ever since they were founded in 1815 by St. Gaspar del Bufalo, the Missionaries have gone to the edge of society to seek out people who felt lost and alone. Fr. Hemmelgarn said he is energized by the Year of Consecrated Life because Pope Francis calls all the faithful to get out of the comfortable center of life and go to the margins, where they will find God. “Pope Francis is urging us to go to the periphery. He tells us to get out of the center, where things are comfortable and peaceful. That’s what St. Gaspar did! Throughout his life, he went to the periphery. He ministered to the bandits in the Italian countryside. When he was in Rome, he went to the poor people in the marketplace, to jails and to hospitals. He spent years in exile—on the periphery,” Fr. Hemmelgarn said. “It’s not an easy place to be. But being on the periphery can give us insights that we wouldn’t have if we didn’t go there.” 8 their lives, to death’s door, and beyond. Their daily prayers include the Missionaries who have died, all the way back to St. Gaspar. The lengths to which Community members go to minister to each other is truly extraordinary; a Missionary may live and minister far from his brothers in the C.PP.S., but he is never really alone. They call this the bond of charity, and it is another vital aspect of their life in Community. Those relationships with each other as Missionaries, the strength that they draw from each other, and the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, help broaden the Missionaries’ reach. They are a small group within a much larger Church. Yet C.PP.S. priests and brothers have touched the lives of millions of people in their 200year history. “I agree with Fr. Bill that we’re very ordinary people, who do extraordinary things,” said Fr. Hemmelgarn. “It’s extraordinary when you put all of us together and see what happens. When you put all of us together with 1815 2015 The Dream Continues... “When you put all of us together with God’s blessing, the impact we have as a Community is extraordinary.” Fr. Larry Hemmelgarn, C.PP.S. God’s blessing, the impact we have as a Community is extraordinary.” The Missionaries of the Precious Blood celebrate their bicentennial in 2015. Glory to the Blood of Jesus! Now and forever. 9 P A Missionary Heart eople tend to sort themselves into like-minded groups, and people in religious life are no different. In discerning a vocation as a priest, religious brother or sister, the first step is usually to determine whether the call is genuine. Then, people have to decide where or how they want to serve the Church and the people of God. For some, that means ministry as a diocesan priest, under the care of a bishop. Others feel more at home in a religious community. When I decided to explore the call I was hearing to the priesthood, I sat with the vocation director for the Diocese of South Bend, Ind., because I grew up in Fort Wayne. He told me, “You have a missionary heart. We need to send you to a religious community.” I put aside any thoughts of becoming part of the diocesan clergy, because generally, they stay in one diocese. The Spirit was telling me, “I have a mission in store for you.” So I became a missionary—a Missionary of the Precious Blood, to be exact. The religious community that a person chooses becomes a very important part of his or her identity. When I was a student at the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, it was easy to sense the differences among the religious communities. It was the second thing that people said, after their name. “Hi, I’m Jim, I’m with the Augustinians (or Passionists, or Franciscans).” We may all have the same ideals, but we live into them differently. That is a distinction that may take a while to grasp. As I talk with young people who are discerning a religious vocation, the first question in most of their minds is whether they are called to the consecrated life in the first place. I have never heard anyone say, “I’m discerning a call to be a Missionary of the Precious Blood.” It’s always, “I want to be a priest,” or “I want to be a brother.” So my follow-up question is, why choose Call and Answer our Community to do that? What appeals to you by Fr. Vince about being a Missionary of the Precious Blood, in Wirtner, C.PP.S. addition to being a priest or brother? If I am talking to someone who is brand new to discernment to religious life, he might say, “Well, I didn’t even know there was that option.” It is an option, and it has been an option for 200 years, ever since the Missionaries were founded in 1815. It can take a while for a young person to sort out all the options, but that’s okay. We’ve been around for 200 years; we can wait a little while longer for God to help them to the decision they have to make. 10 Teaching Whoever Shows Up Brother Tim Cahill, C.PP.S., says the key to teaching middle school is remembering what it was like. I t was the end of the class period right before lunch, and the eighth graders in Brother Tim Cahill’s religion class at St. Peter School in Huber Heights, Ohio, had been working on group projects. They had moved their desks around, pondered, and maybe wiggled a little bit in their seats, as most kids do, and the desks that had been in a straight line when they walked into the room were straight no longer. Calmly and with military precision, Brother Tim moved from row to vertical row in his classroom, directing the students to align the desks before they left for the day, which they did quickly and quietly, without whining or questioning. It’s good for kids to be able to make a straight line, Brother Tim believes. It’s good for them to know where they stand. He enjoys teaching middle schoolers; there’s a surprise in every day because he never knows who is going to walk through the door of his classroom. “Middle schoolers are still children, but they’re willing to become adults,” he 11 said. “Sometimes they want a cookie, and sometimes they are sophisticated young men and women who want to be treated as such. You never know what you’re going to get.” He understands. Brother Tim, now 58 with 24 years of teaching experience, 18 of them at St. Peter School, remembers very well what it was like to grow up without really knowing where he was going, or what he would become. they’re doing something wrong. Help them find another way.’ I have been using that advice ever since,” he said. He volunteered with Big Brothers Big Sisters and at the parish. His pastor told him that he’d had a dream where God appeared and said, ‘Why isn’t Tim in a seminary yet?’” Brother Tim said he had toyed with the idea of a religious vocation, but wasn’t sure where to go. The vocations director of the Diocese of Youngstown directed him to the Pontifical College Josephinum, a seminary in Columbus. His second try at college also did not go well, and he withdrew from classes. “I figured I would get a job someplace, maybe at the GM plant. Or maybe I would go to a junior college.” Then his bishop called him in and sat him down. “He asked me, ‘Have you ever thought about becoming a religious brother?’ I said I never had, because brothers are guys who live in cells, wear black robes and sweep the floors. He looked at me and said, ‘You have no idea what brothers are all about. You need to meet Brother Bernie Barga.” Becoming a Brother Brother Tim was born in Youngstown, Ohio, raised in a staunch Irish Catholic family who attended St. Brendan Catholic Church. He graduated from high school without a clear plan for his future. He worked part-time for a pharmacy chain, then the parish hired him as its director of religious education. “The position of DRE was in its infancy,” he said. “Nobody even knew what a DRE was.” He enjoyed the experience so much that “I thought I might like to become a teacher.” He enrolled in classes at Youngstown State and promptly failed. “I wasn’t a very good student,” he said. He returned to work at the drug store, where he learned how to work with all kinds of people. “I had a manager who told me, ‘Don’t just tell people that Meeting Brother Bernie Brother Bernie was a Missionary of the Precious Blood, a dynamic, spirit-filled, big12 hearted man who drew people toward him like a lantern draws moths. At the time, he was ministering at Brunnerdale, the Missionaries’ former high school seminary near Canton, Ohio, that was then being used as a retreat center. Tim met Brother Bernie and some of the other Missionaries, Brother Tim helps the eighth graders in and for the first time he his classroom at St. Peter School. Middle felt he had found his schoolers are still children, he said, but purpose. they’re willing to become adults. “I felt like I was home,” he said. “I had a big beard at the time and didn’t In Huber Heights, a want to shave it off. When I suburb northeast of Dayton, walked into Brunnerdale for the he works with students during first time, there was a brother the school day, and volunteers sitting behind the desk with a big with young people in his spare white beard. And it wasn’t just time, primarily with the Young that. The guys there were friendly Marines, an anti-drug program and welcoming. It was the only of the U.S. Marine League that place I visited where I said, ‘This leads young people to a healthy, feels right.’” active life. He serves as the Young Marines’ adjutant and chaplain. Ministering to Young People He also volunteers with the St. Vincent de Paul Society at the Brother Tim made his parishes in the Dayton area; is a profession as a religious brother CPR and first aid instructor, and in 1989. He celebrated his 25th is a first responder. anniversary last year. It’s a good Both at work and in his life, he said. He has ministered at volunteer efforts, he reaches out parishes, including St. Augustine to young people. “I recognize that in Rensselaer, Ind.; Immaculate kids have troubles. I had troubles Conception in Celina, Ohio, and when I was a kid. My teachers Precious Blood in Dayton. helped me. So I help 13 my students,” he said. Sometimes they slip up and call him Dad, he said. That’s when Brother Tim knows he’s made an impact on their lives. someone guided me. My teacher, Mr. Craig, set me straight. He was firm but polite. From him, I got my love of reading. “Once I realized that, I started enjoying being around the No-Nonsense Approach students. I saw that they weren’t doing things on purpose to get Kids need the no-nonsense under my skin; that’s just the way approach that Brother Tim brings teens are. Once a teacher accepts to the classroom. It also doesn’t that, life gets a lot better.” take them long to discover his big Years ago, he heard a Precious heart. Blood priest give a talk about the “When they hired me to Cry of the Blood of Jesus. “Where teach eighth grade here, I said, do you hear the cry of the Blood?” ‘Okay, I can do that.’ But the first the priest had asked. year was rough. I wasn’t sure that Brother Tim has thought of this was where God wanted me that often. “I heard the cry of the to be. Then I had an epiphany. Blood coming from the children. I realized that they were no They come to school, some with different than I was at their no lunch and some from broken age. And when I was their age, homes, single-parent homes, homes where mom and dad are just too busy,” he said. I realized that they were no different “They come to us for than I was at their age. And when I learning, but what was their age, someone guided me. I see is their need for someone who Brother Tim Cahill, C.PP.S. will listen to them and hear their story. Someone who will just be there for them. Someone who will discipline them when they need it, laugh when they act silly, and—this is very important— be the adult for them.” 14 C•H•A•P•T•E•R and V•E•R•S•E C.PP.S. Blood Drives: Blood drives sponsored by the Missionaries of the Precious Blood and their supporters had netted over 300 units by the end of January. During their bicentennial year, the Missionaries hope to gather 1,000 units of blood. St. Gaspar del Bufalo, the Congregation’s founder, once said, “I wish that I had 1,000 tongues to endear every heart to the Precious Blood of Jesus,” so the number 1,000 is of special significance this year. The next C.PP.S.-sponsored blood drive at the Community Blood Center in Dayton will be held on March 25. Donors can schedule an appointment at donortime.com. Blood drives are also being organized in Ottawa, Glandorf and Whiting, Ind., and at Saint Joseph’s College in Rensselaer, Ind. If you don’t live near a C.PP.S.-sponsored blood drive but want to dedicate your blood donation to the Congregation, simply email Cindy Sipes at [email protected] and let her know. Thanks to all who have donated so far! In Memoriam: Br. Adrian Barga, C.PP.S., 91, died on, October 13, 2014, in the infirmary of St. Charles Center in Carthagena, Ohio, where he made his home He was born in Rossburg, Ohio, on September 7, 1923, to Victor and Anna (Mangen) Barga. He entered the Society of the Precious Blood in 1950 and was professed a religious brother on July 1, 1951. Br. Adrian worked for many years on the Congregation’s farms, first at St. Charles, then, beginning in 1956, at Brunnerdale Seminary in Canton, Ohio, where he served as farm manager for many years. Br. Adrian returned to St. Charles in 1988 and made his home there for the past 26 years. Br. Adrian was a hard worker with a gentle spirit, said Br. Jerome Schulte, C.PP.S., who ministered alongside Br. Adrian on the farm at Brunnerdale for more Br. Adrian than 25 years. “Br. Adrian was very attuned to life on the farm, and always knew what had to be done next,” Br. Jerry said. “He was gentle in the way he let you know what was expected of you—and if he was sure about something, he would let you know it, not in a prideful way, but with the confidence that comes from knowing he was right.” 15 Br. Adrian was committed to his life as a religious brother, and was a lifelong fan of the Cincinnati Reds. A Mass of Christian burial was celebrated at St. Charles Center on October 17, with Fr. Thomas Hemm, C.PP.S., presiding. Br. Nicholas Renner, C.PP.S., offered a reflection. Burial followed in the Community cemetery. Br. Hugh Henderson, C.PP.S., 66, died on January 5, 2015, at his residence in Cincinnati, of natural causes. Br. Hugh was born on August 10, 1948, in Cleveland, to Hugh and Dorothy (Triggs) Henderson. He entered the Community in 1967 and was professed on March 25, 1972. Br. Hugh has served in education and parish ministries throughout his years as a religious brother. Br. Hugh His early ministry sites included St. Edward Church Holy Trinity Church, and Polyclinic Hospital, all in Cleveland; and St. Anthony Church, Detroit. In 1995 he was assigned to Saint Joseph’s College, where he served as assistant chaplain and admission recruiter. During his later years at the college, he also served as organist at Sacred Heart Church and Remington Presbyterian Church, both in Remington, Ind. From 1999 until his death, he was in parish ministry in Cincinnati, first at St. Mark Church and then at the Church of the Resurrection. In November 2013, he was honored for his ministry to AfricanAmerican Catholics by the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. The Church of the Resurrection had planned to honor him with a Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. Keep the Dream Alive award on January 19, 2015. Br. Hugh had a large personality, which came along with definite opinions, a quick smile and an orator’s voice. Beneath it all was a giving heart, which those around him were quick to detect. In his ministry at the parish he spent hours visiting people in nursing homes and hospitals. People urged him to make a quicker exit, not to spend so much time in each room, but he never could. Funeral Masses were celebrated on January 12 at St. Peter in Chains Cathedral, Cincinnati, with Archbishop Dennis Schnurr presiding and Fr. Dennis Chriszt, C.PP.S., as homilist; and on January 13 at St. Adalbert Church in Cleveland, with Fr. Clarence Williams, C.PP.S., presiding. A Mass of Christian burial was celebrated at St. Charles Center on January 15 with Fr. Larry Hemmelgarn, C.PP.S., presiding and Fr. Williams as homilist. Burial followed in the Community cemetery. Contributions honoring the memory of these faithful brothers may be made to the Missionaries of the Precious Blood, Cincinnati Province. 16 I Not a Missionary Heart fear I do not have a missionary heart. When Fr. Vince Wirtner, C.PP.S., the Missionaries’ vocation director, tells the story of how he found his own religious vocation as a priest and Missionary, he explains that he first went to his diocesan vocation director (see page 10). “He told me that he could see I had a missionary heart,” Fr. Vince says. The vocation director was wise enough to see that young Vince would be happier if he was on the move, like a missionary. He encouraged Vince to check out the Missionaries of the Precious Blood, and the rest is history. Unlike Fr. Vince, I am a person who stays put. I live 20 miles from where I grew up. I see my mom every week. I’m very happy with my first husband. We’ve lived in the same house for over 20 years. I think a pattern is emerging here. When I was 20, I would not have seen my life ending up this way. However, I am blissfully happy most days with the choices I have made, especially when we are walking in the woods with our beagle or when one of us comes home complaining that the traffic near Wal-Mart was terrible. Our young adult kids are now facing some of the same choices and questions. Where should they make their home/seek their fortune? I know from my own experience that if you come back to your hometown or anywhere near it, you are in for 20 years of second-guessing from people who feel you have not realized your full potential. After about 20 years, if you can demonstrate that you have a happy life, you suddenly become some sort of prairie wisdom figure and people praise you for your serenity. I believe that God sets a radio frequency in our hearts, and we know when it is in tune with the place where we find ourselves. I understand that people are invigorated and challenged by new environments, and they certainly earn more entertaining obituaries. They have missionary hearts. But I believe too that you can have a missionary At Our House mind; that is, you can send your mind out on by Jean Giesige expeditions, and it can range throughout the world or galaxy, learning and exploring. Such exploration is a gift from God, whose mind is larger and more expansive than any of us will ever grasp in this lifetime. In the end, then, our current address may not matter as much as our destination. As long as we are traveling toward God, with God and through God, we are in the right place. 17 A beautiful, peaceful, prayerful HOME Saint Charles Senior Living Community • Airy, spacious one- and two-bedroom apartments for seniors. • Exercise room, library and walkways on the beautiful grounds. • Residents are invited to participate in St. Charles’ rich and devout prayer life, through daily Mass and benediction in the Assumption Chapel. For more information, call 419-925-4516, ext. 112 2860 US Route 127, Celina OH 45822 Let us hear from you Send address changes, comments, suggestions or requests for more information to: Jean Giesige, editor, C.PP.S. Today, 431 E. Second St., Dayton, OH 45402-1764 [email protected] Please include your name and contact information so that we can respond to your correspondence. 18 Return Service Requested MISSIONARIES OF THE PRECIOUS BLOOD 431 E. Second St. Dayton, OH 45402 Permit No. 2 Celina, Ohio PAID U.S. Postage Non-Profit Org.
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